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University of Minnesota Extension

Species guide - species detail

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Polistes dominula (Vespid social wasp)



This species of wasp is in the family Vespidae, in the sub family Polistinae. Polistes dominula is a recently introduced species to North America that has spread rapidly. In some parts of the East, it appears to have almost entirely replaced native Polistes species. (Gamboa et al. 2002) Polistes dominula consume a wide variety of insect prey (Cervo et al. 2000)


Polistes dominula have a stereotypical “wasp” look to them. They are black with yellow bands and markings, and orange antennas. At rest, their wings fold longitudinally and may appear very thin.

Nest Structure

Polistes dominula is a social wasp that builds its nest in sheltered places. It readily nests in human-made structures and is common in urban and suburban areas (Silagi et al. 2003). Polistes dominula that emerged from Bee Atlas blocks were queens that used the tunnels as a sheltered overwintering place.

Hole Sizes

No information at this time.


No information at this time.

Activity Period

No information at this time.


No information at this time.

Minnesota Record Map

These data are from the Minnesota Bee Atlas project.

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